Hutchinson Conquers the 2007 Melges 24 US Northeast District Championship
Annapolis, Md.; Eastport Yacht Club - Terry Hutchinson on 'Quantum Racing' with his crew of Scott Nixon, Morgan Trubovich, Brian Janney and Tara Thomas are the 2007 Melges 24 Northeast District Champions!
The final day of racing was exceptionally challenging as the wind was extremely light. Beautiful blue skies, warm temps and sunshine prevailed but initially no breeze. The travel out to the course didn't look promising either in comparison to Saturday's blast of four phenomenal races. Nonetheless it was an interesting day as Alan Field on 'WTF' went into the day leading the pack by a slim margin over Louis Vitton Cup Champion tactician Terry Hutchinson on 'Quantum Racing.' In third, some seven points out was 2007 Melges 24 Corinthian Champion Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron on 'Gannet.'
Almost immediately the race committee put the fleet in postponement mode - floating along, nineteen Melges 24s waited for the wind to arrive. Gradually the wind built just enough to get everyone excited as they practiced setting and dousing chutes while the race committee waited for the wind direction to settle.
Shortly after noon the first race commenced with corinthian player Bill Carleton on 'Tiburon' launching off the pin end. Going with him was Glenn Leach on "Bad Mojo', Field and Hutchinson further middle of the course. Hutchinson rounded the first windward mark first with a lot of speed. Scott Norris helming for David Ford's 'Lightwave Micro' and Chris Junge driving for Byron Marchant on 'EdeC' rounded right behind. Field was buried seven spots back clawing his way to the front desperate to hold on to the overall lead.
Hutchinson put some distance between himself and the fleet, at least a two minute lead. With a course change at the gate, Hutchinson headed right looking for pressure. Norris hung on in second, Junge stayed third with Carleton in fourth. The breeze was on the increase. It was another big win for Hutchinson, Norris closed the gap a little to comfortably take second. The real battle though was between Carlton, Field making up ground challenging for fourth, Sean Scarborough on 'Rhino' and Blumencron are also in the mix.
There was just enough time to get another race in before the two o'clock cut off. With the breeze reaching into the 7-10 knot range, Hutchinson launched off the pin end in race two with Simon Strauss on 'Gill', Jim Golden on 'Chillout', Carleton, Blumencron and Norris in full chase. Blumencron commanded the lead at the windward mark followed by corinthians Strauss and Al Girard helming for JC Raby on 'No Decorm.' They fought for position from the mark to the offset, Strauss on the inside taking an ever so slight lead.
Blumencron had a big lead. Simply put — sailed a clean, strong race taking his lead to the finish. The battle beyond included Strauss, Norris and Jack Jennings on 'Pied Piper' battling for Blumencron's leftovers. Hutchinson steadily worked his way back into the top five, Field struggling about four positions back. Norris clinched second, Hutchinson was third.
A very special thanks USMCA northeast District Governor Bill Carleton and his team at the Eastport Yacht Club for an incredible event, the hospitality, Saturday night's dinner was terrific - everything was awesome! Thanks to the race committee for some of the best racing seen in the class. Sharon Hadsel and her incredibly social race committee handled the Melges 24s like they had done it a million times. The races were very professionally conducted and timely! Thank you!
The next North American Ranking event is in Jacksonville, Florida at the Florida Yacht Club, November 16-18. We hope to see everyone there.
Be sure to mark your calendars and also plan to attend the 2008 North American Championship 20-26 October at the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, Md and then, the
2009 Worlds, 20 October - 1 November.
The 2007 Melges 24 Northeast District Championship (www.annapolismelges24.com) is proudly sponsored by Annapolis Performance Sailing (www.apsltd.com), Gale Force Sailing (www.galeforcesailing.com), Iniki.com (www.iniki.com), North Sails (www.onedesign.com) and NOAA (www.noaa.gov). Quantum Sails (www.quantumsails.com) is the official sponsor of the 2007 Melges 24 NEDC Corinthian Competition. The 2007 NEDC is honorably hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) (www.eastportyc.org). EYC is also the chosen host of the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship on 20-26 October, and the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship on 20 October - 1 November.
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The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh (www.reichel-pugh.com) and considered the most unique one design sportboat in the world as well as one of the fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. More information can be found at the Official Web site of the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA, www.usmelges24.com), and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA, www.melges24.com).
If you would like to receive press releases and/or photos for this event please contact Joy Dunigan, 2007 Melges 24 Northeast District Championship Event Press Officer/USMCA Press Officer via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on mobile at (912) 398-5776.